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Arrow Rock State Historic Site


Stroll through the history of a once-bustling river town that’s now the serene village of arrow rock.  you’ll walk streets lined with the architecture of the historic “boone’s lick country.” at arrow rock state historic site, you may wander into the historic old tavern, which dates back to 1834 and provides a dining experience in a period setting or see displays of old-time wares at the huston store. you can learn about it all through exhibits in the visitor center. the historic site is part of the larger village of arrow rock, which features quaint stores and a bevy of antique shops.

Battle of Athens State Historic Site


Battle of athens historic site is a place of peace and serenity. its historic buildings, tree-studded landscape, and mile of des moines river frontage make the site a perfect place to hike, picnic or camp. but today’s peace belies the site’s history as the place where the most northern battle fought west of the mississippi occurred, when about 500 union soldiers repelled nearly four times their number of pro-southern state guardsmen. the site includes interpretation and tours of the battlefield as well as a number of historic buildings, including one that was pierced by a cannonball during the battle.

Battle of Carthage State Historic Site


The battle of carthage was the earliest full-scale battle of the civil war, preceding bull run by 11 days. battle of carthage state historic site contains a quiet meadow and the spring that made the area an encampment for both the union and confederate troops during the battle. the area is little changed in its appearance since the battle was fought on july 5, 1861. a few minutes off of interstate 44, the site interprets the battle that set the stage for a decisive showdown a month later at wilson’s creek.

Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site


The battle of island mound marked the first time that african-american troops were used in civil war combat, nearly a year before the battle depicted in the film glory. battle of island mound state historic site encompasses camp africa, where the 1st kansas colored volunteer infantry were camped in 1862 before a pitched battle with pro-confederate forces near a low hill named island mound. when the site is developed, it will interpret the battle, as well as the effect that the 1st kansas colored volunteer infantry has on later union decisions to allow african-american units to fight.

Battle of Lexington State Historic Site


People called oliver anderson’s house “the best arranged dwelling house west of st. louis.” but it became more famous as the center of a bloody three-day civil war battle in 1861. walk through the anderson house at battle of lexington historic site and marvel at the bullet holes still in the walls and evidence of the cannon shots. the battlefield is peaceful now, dotted with orchards and gardens, but battle scars remain.  a visitor center provides a comprehensive view of the battle that raised southern spirits that the war was winnable and made unionists in missouri think twice about whether they could hold the state. the site is located in the town of lexington and is one of the closest civil war sites to interstate 70.

Bennett Spring State Park


The bennett spring area was founded by pioneers who used the cool, rushing waters of the spring-fed stream for gristmills. now, it’s one of america’s premier trout destinations where people come to wrestle with rainbow trout and fish a stream that’s stocked every night. bennett spring state park has fishing, hiking that runs from simple to strenuous, and a lodge with hearty stick-to-your ribs food. the park's proximity to interstate 44 makes it an easy trip from all parts of missouri.

Big Lake State Park


Cool waters and abundant wildlife make big lake state park a place to get away in northwest missouri. visitors can canoe and jet ski on the state's largest oxbow lake that adjoins the park or watch for smooth soft-shelled turtles lazing away the day in the park's marsh. big lake is a wetland that migrating birds use as a resting stop, affording bird watchers an unparalleled opportunity to see yellow-headed blackbirds, blue herons, soras and rails. take advantage of the camping and lodging opportunities while you are there. 

Big Oak Tree State Park


A visit to big oak tree state park is a visit to missouri as the first explorers saw it. towering hickory trees and oaks form a canopy that averages more than 120 feet in height and the soaring trees and marshy terrain translates visitors back to when southeast missouri was dubbed “swampeast missouri.” the trees and wetlands make the park a prime place for wildlife as well as picnic sites and shelters that are shaded by trees that have seen centuries of history. a self-guided boardwalk trail and an interpretive center tell the story of this rich landscape.

Big Sugar Creek State Park


Hike a trail back into history. big sugar creek state park is a rugged landscape of rare shrubs and trees not often seen anymore in missouri. visitors can find solitude in hiking through shady upland woodlands and sunny grassy glades while passing near numerous rock ledges. notable plants such as the ozark chinquapin tree and low prickly pear cactus can be found along with animals such as armadillos and birds such as scarlet tanagers.

Bollinger Mill State Historic Site


Travel back to simpler days when business in missouri was about the rushing of a stream over a dam and bridges were covered. visitors to bollinger mill state historic site can watch corn being ground into meal at the massive four-story mill that dates to the civil war era and is on the national register of historic places. or they can stroll through the burfordville covered bridge, one of just four covered bridges that remain in missouri. the site’s rustic setting offers ample picnicking and exploration opportunities along the whitewater river.

Boone's Lick State Historic Site


After a short hike, visitors to boone’s lick state historic site can see the remnants of one of missouri’s first and most important industries: salt. timber and rolling green hills drew settlers to cooper, howard and saline counties, but it was salt that made the area grow. meriwether lewis and william clark noted the presence of many saltwater springs. daniel boone’s sons commercialized the largest of the area’s springs, opening up a salt business and shipping the salt, which crystallized after the water was boiled away, to st. louis by keelboat. the site has outdoor exhibits that interpret and explain how salt became big business in the “boone’s lick country.”

Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site


With a commanding view from atop a bluff, bothwell lodge state historic site is one of the best representations of early 20th century sensibilities in the midwest. walk through the 31-room, 12,000-square-foot lodge built atop two natural caves by sedalia lawyer john homer bothwell. you will marvel at the owner’s eclectic tastes and how a country gentlemen furnished a recreational lodge for himself and his friends. most of the furnishings in the house are original, and the property also has a three-mile hiking and mountain biking trail.

Castlewood State Park


In the early 1900s, the area that’s now castlewood state park was a popular retreat for partying st. louisans. the dance clubs are gone, but the winding meramec river and the lush valley that surrounds it remain. the park has hiking and mountain biking trails that range from those great for first-time riders to ones that even the most experienced will return to time after time. the park is considered one of the best mountain biking locations in the st. louis area. good fishing, broad meadows filled with wildlife, and plenty of recreational facilities make the park a favorite for people who want an adventure or just to get away.

Clark's Hill/Norton State Historic Site


Walk in the footsteps of the lewis and clark expedition at clark’s hill/norton state historic state. the explorers camped at the base of clark’s hill between june 1 and june 3, 1804, on their epic journey. wiliam clark climbed the hill on june 2 and saw a sweeping vista that included the confluence of the missouri and osage rivers.  today, a short trail takes visitors past two indian mounds mentioned by clark in his journals and to an overlook that shows where clark stood more than 200 years ago.  

Confederate Memorial State Historic Site


Step on to the peaceful grounds of confederate memorial state historic site and experience where the last voices of the “lost cause” lingered. the site was once home to the confederate soldiers home of missouri, which provided comfort and refuge to 1,600 civil war veterans and their families for nearly 60 years. today, visitors can visit the restored chapel and the confederate cemetery, as well as three other historic buildings. visitors will learn about the confederate home and the role it played in post-civil war missouri. the site’s 135 acres include numerous lakes to fish in as well as walking trails and places to picnic.

Crowder State Park


Crowder state park provides 1,912 acres in the rolling green hills of northern missouri. visitors can enjoy more than 17 miles of hiking, bicycling and equestrian trails in a forested, rugged terrain. the park also offers fishing, boating and swimming opportunities in 18-acre crowder lake. the family-oriented campground includes modern restrooms and shady picnic sites are scattered throughout the park.  

Cuivre River State Park


Cuivre river state park is a bit of the ozarks outside of the ozarks – a nature lovers paradise just a short drive from st. louis that is vibrant with colors three seasons of the year. the park’s renowned trails take visitors through prairies and forests of oaks and hickories. the park’s three natural areas feature sinkhole ponds and woodlands that would be more at home in southern missouri. the park has hiking and equestrian trails, modern campsites, group camps, picnic areas and a lake so everyone can enjoy one of missouri’s most rugged and beautiful jewels.

Current River State Park


Current river state park is currently under development. located along current river, the property is the site of a former corporate retreat  of the alton box co. between the 1930s and the 1950s. the property includes the retreat's historic structures, other facilities and two lakes all in a rugged ozark landscape setting. additional information will be provided as it becomes available.    

Deutschheim State Historic Site


Visit a significant part of german-american history – and early missouri settlement – at deutschheim state historic site. stroll through the restored 1840s and 1850s buildings and explore how german-americans settled the hermann area and developed the basis for a missouri wine industry. grapevines planted in the 1850s can still be seen on the property as can a number of historic artifacts.

Dillard Mill State Historic Site


A red mill set on the blue waters of huzzah creek is as pretty a picture as there is in missouri, and that’s the setting for dillard mill state historic site. the site interprets one of the state’s best-preserved gristmills, completed in 1908. most of the machinery in the mill is still intact and original to the building. if you like the outdoors, the site’s location on huzzah creek in the ozarks provides plenty of opportunities to fish, hike, picnic or just dream about the past.

Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park


Generations of missourians have passed through dr. edmund a. babler’s memorial state park's massive stone gateway for cookouts and family get-togethers or to spend time with friends. the park’s camping facilities, civilian conservation corps architecture, and hiking, bicycling and equestrian trails help all visitors find their place to get away from it all, just minutes from st. louis.

Edward "Ted" and Pat Jones-Confluence Point State Park


Standing at the point where two of the nation’s mightiest rivers merge, edward “ted” and pat jones- confluence point state park provides a unique perspective on america. confluence point is where western expansion really began and where the lewis and clark expedition set off on their journey up the missouri. the park’s wetlands are part of the mississippi river flyway, making it a great place to see waterfowl, including bald eagles and raptors.

Elephant Rocks State Park


The giant elephant-shaped granite boulders are the star at elephant rocks state park. the coarsely crystalline red granite forms are popular with history buffs (who like to read the names of the 19th century miners who used to work in the area and who carved their names into rocks), children (who love to climb and scramble over and through the rocks) and parents (who revel in taking pictures of their children pretending to push the rocks). the park has a trail that winds through the rocks, which is an interpretative braille trail. abundant picnic areas and vibrant fall colors add to the park’s appeal.

Felix Valle House State Historic Site


Travel back to missouri’s early french roots at felix vallé house state historic site. the american-federal style valle house was built in 1818 and today is furnished in the style of the 1830s with a host of artifacts that show the american influence on the french community of ste. genevieve after the louisiana purchase. the bauvais-amoureux house, built in 1792, is one of several other historic homes in the site, nestled within historic ste. genevieve.

Finger Lakes State Park


The roar of atvs and off-road motorcycles combines with the peacefulness of rolling hills at finger lakes state park, one of two atv parks in the state parks system. built in a former coal mining area, finger lakes’ trails and motocross track are popular with users who come for the day, but often fall under the spell of the spacious campground, leafy trees and hilly terrain. the park is also the site of the state’s newest mountain bike trail, the challenging 2.25-mile kelley branch trail, scheduled to open in spring 2011.
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